Open Curtains – VNC With No Authentication

A few weeks ago I read an article about mass scanning the Internet for VNC servers that don’t require authentication. Dubbed “open curtains” because it’s like having your curtains open allowing anyone passing by to glance in. The person doesn’t need to bypass any security in place or have a key to your door to get this access – it’s open for everyone to take a peek inside. To achieve

Custom Kernel On a DigitalOcean Droplet

A few days ago I decided to create a VPS, known as a “droplet”, with DigitalOcean. They claim a deployment time of 55 seconds. And 55 seconds after hitting the button I had a Debian 7 x64 droplet running. The plan was to migrate my current VPS to this DigitalOcean droplet. The first task I always undertake with any Linux deployment is to create a custom stripped down kernel patched

Automating Mass Cisco IOS Upgrades

This morning I needed to upgrade the IOS on 29 Cisco 3560G switches. Rather than login to each one, clean up the flash storage, FTP on the IOS image and set the boot image, I wrote a simple shell script and used clogin from RANCID to automate this task. Of course, nearly every Network Configuration Management platform that’s any good should be able to do this but I prefer the personal

Automating Cisco Switch Swap Outs

So you can’t automate the entire process unfortunately. You’re still going to need to pull a late night and get your hands dirty… Recently I was tasked with swapping out 4 old Cisco 10/100Mb switches with new 10/100/1000Mb switches. The old switches were a combination of Cisco 3560, 2950 and 3548 series. The old switches also had some old configurations that needed to be updated and the interface configurations weren’t consistent. The

Should Network Engineers Also Be Programmers?

Short answer: Yes. Maybe not a programmer in the sense that you need to be proficient in C++, .NET, assembler, know UML etc but having some general programming knowledge is very useful. In my opinion and experience the most important programming skill to have is a fairly in-depth knowledge of a scripting language. Be that shell, Perl, Powershell or even batch scripts. A week doesn’t go by where I don’t write a